Kate's Queen City Notes

Blundering through Cincinnati, laughing all the way


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100 Books by 40: MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN

Title: Midnight’s Children
Author: Salman Rushdie
Published: 1981

Americans don’t learn about what happens in other countries. This is most likely an exaggeration, but I feel like my teachers covered The Revolutionary War ten times before graduating from high school. It’s probably more reasonable to assume it was covered all three middle school years as well as all four high school years.

The extent of my knowledge of Indian recent history is this. The Brits colonized India as they did much of the world, which explains all the extra vowels in English as written by almost everyone on the planet aside from Americans. And then Gandhi lead peaceful protests and Indian gained independence. And honestly, the only reason I know about Gandhi is due to the popularity of the 1982 Ben Kingsley movie of the same name. (Way to go Hollywood, you didn’t completely shit the bed with that casting as Kingsley is half Indian.)

By the time the movie was broadcast on TV, I might have been eight or nine? I can’t recall. What I do remember was being traumatized by the slaughter of the peacful protesters. I was old enough to process that context, and it drove me to return to the movie as a teenager.

Midnight’s Children is a novel describing the instability that followed India gaining independence from Great Britain. The main character and related characters are fictional, but the political changes and events in the book are real. The prose is lovely. However, having zero knowledge of India’s recent history greatly diminished my enjoyment of this book. Rushdie doesn’t provide enough context around the political events for this woefully ignorant American.

The prose and the narrator’s voice in this book are delightful. It’s play with words, plot, and characters. But the thread that really holds is the historical events, and without knowledge of those bonding with the characters proves difficult.

This American is only vaguely more informed about India’s history. I have, at least, left this experience knowing how little I know about India. I would like to say I will learn more. This book list tho…


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100 Books By 40: GORMENGHAST

Book: Gormenghast
Author: Mervyn Peake
Published: 1946-1959

The BBC has done it again. As indicated by the published range as opposed to a single year, this isn’t one book but three. The book that I got from the library is all three books in one. It is one thousand+ pages, and the type is obscenely small. Months of my life was spent with this book.

The book tells the story of a castle, and two generations of noblemen who rule it. At least that’s typically how these sorts of stories are arranged. The noblemen act on their domain. This book inverts that narrative such that the domain, the castle acts on its noblemen.

On the bright side, Mervyn Peake was primarily an illustrator. And his sense of the visual rings true in his writing. The mental imagery that this book evokes is a feast for the imagination. This stands as such a contrast in our CGI-ed existence; actual imagination shimmers from this books pages.

On the not so bright side, the plot of this book moves at a snail’s pace, which goes a long way in explaining why I was reading this for 8 months. The plot will sit idle for chapter after chapter, only to have several major twists happen in a four page chapter. It’s true that much of the preceding chapters are setting up context, but the visual imagery takes up a piece too. I would take issue with this as writing masturbation, but Peake seems to make settings characters that may also act on the plot.

The characters are so quirky. So very, very quirky. And yet when Peake drapes them in his macabre visual world. They seem completely at home, natural even.

Eight months is a long time to commit to anything. A word like entertaining simply doesn’t apply to a book like this. It’s a visual delicacy that’s to be savored, for perhaps eight months.

Picture of Gormenghast all three books in one

Just look at this monster. Granted, this is all three of the books in one. But really, BBC, time to change your best 100 books list to best 112 books.

Probably the right time for another update on where I am in my list.

Reading now:
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
**On The Road, Jack Kerouac (rereading for pleasure)

Finished reading:
1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen – only 99 cents for Kindle edition
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens – have on Kindle
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy – have on Kindle
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens *I read this when I was too young to appreciate it; I would like to read it again as an adult. I will do so if I have time.
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding *I’ve read this twice. I will read it again if I have time.
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac *I’ve read this twice. I will read it again if I have time. I have the unabriged unedited version and will probably take on that if time allows.
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson

Pending reading:
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie


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100 Books by 40: ON THE ROAD Scroll Edition

Natalie Merchant is responsible for what I’ve become. Compulsive listening to 10,000 Maniacs caused neurons to fire with recognition at the sight of Jack Kerouac in the book store at the beginning of my last year of high school. The unremarkable walk out of Walden Books in the crisp October afternoon sun in 1993 seemed like any other, just as an inconsistency in metal rails is just as much until a train comes barreling down on them.

While it was never my dream to get married and have children, I also didn’t see any alternatives to that future. There was only one road to the future. Everyone I knew planned to navigate it.

When my friends would enthuse about their future families, a tiny quiver in a dank, seldom-visited corner of my brain would induce sweaty palms and a dry mouth. I had dutifully obtained a high school boyfriend thinking that it would unlock my vision of my future self, mom, wife. I felt sure making all the preordained choices would silence that troubling quiver.

And then this happened:

“… they rushed down the street together digging everything in the early way they had which has later now become so much sadder and perceptive.. but then they danced down the street like dingledodies and I shambled after as usual as I’ve been doing all my life after people that interest me, because the only people that interest me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing.. but burn, burn, burn like roman candles across the night.” Jack Kerouac On the Road (Scroll Edition)

Like a blaring alarm clock that jolts the sleeper upright, waking came to me abrupt and complete. Inhabiting On the Road opened me to the pursuit of truth. The power inherent in chance encounters. The heartbreak and beauty in seeking authenticity in a world saturated with facades and costumes. I saw in On the Road the quiver grow to a rattling. The train jumped the tracks.

The book describes late 1940’s America with love and smoldering intensity. Every crevasse and sewer grate from New York to San Francisco is found with a quiet beauty in its disarray. They roar across the country looking to drink every real experience in every moment stealing real connections from the jaws of 1950’s conformity.

Since I took the other road in 1993 that led me to move away from home and come out, I read On the Road again in the early 2000’s. So, I selected The Original Scroll edition for this reading. This edition was written in 1948, whereas the published version of On the Road was rewritten several times before it finally hit the shelves in 1957. The versions are different in that the punctuation typically used in quotations is eschewed and the names of the characters haven’t been changed. Sal is Jack in The Original Scroll edition. These are the most obvious differences. There are other minor differences that will only be obvious to the most obsessive fan.

My third reading of this finds me at thirty-nine. It finds me coming to the realization that I love experiences over things. It finds me shedding my furniture. It finds me putting down all the things I’ve collected over the years. It finds me single with a string of failed relationships behind me all collateral damage in part due to my incessant searching for more. It finds me throwing clothes, guitars, and cat into my car in three weeks to move across the country. It finds me hungry for authenticity. It finds me going on the road.

I don’t know what Seattle will hold for me. I do know that I need to face this down. I do know that I will make a pilgrimage to this bridge in Big Sur while I am out West. And I know like Jack Kerouac and Ben Gibbard, I will be reminded that it’s about the journey and not the destination. And I know that I couldn’t have better muses to carry me on this journey than Jack and Neil.

“Bixby Canyon Bridge” – Death Cab for Cutie

I descended a dusty gravel ridge
Beneath the Bixby Canyon Bridge
Until I eventually arrived
At the place where your soul had died

Barefoot in the shallow creek
I grabbed some stones from underneath
And waited for you to speak to me

In the silence it became so very clear
That you had long ago disappeared
I cursed myself for being surprised
That this didn’t play like it did in my mind

All the way from San Francisco
As I chased the end of your road
‘Cause I’ve still got miles to go

And I want to know my fate
If I keep up this way

And it’s hard to want to stay awake
When everyone you meet, they all seem to be asleep
And you wonder if you’re missing a dream

You can’t see a dream
You can’t see a dream
You just can’t see a dream

A dream [x12]

And then it started getting dark
I trudged back to where the car was parked
No closer to any kind of truth
As I must assume was the case with you


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100 Books by 40: GIRLS IN LOVE

Book: Girls In Love (Book 1)
Author: Jacqueline Wilson
Published: 1997

I can only feel thankful that I found this book available for download from The Hamilton County Library after striking out at Amazon and living on the hold list for months to borrow the physical book. Had I been left with no choice but to skip this book or put my dollars against having it among the great books in my library, I would have skipped it, leaving my project technically unfinished.

This is the second book from this author in my list. Lackluster is a word that comes to mind. While the focus of the first book is around losing a close friend, it has enough romantic side stories that I left that read with a chapped ass. Based on my previous experience with this author and the the title, I knew the displeasure ahead.

My expectations were validated completely. Spoiler alert: thirteen-year-old girls have dramatic experiments in love while chafing under the totalitarian rule of their unreasonable parents. And shock of all shocks, insecure main character manages to mend her relationship with her parents and achieve the perfect middle school romance. WHY IS THIS IN A BEST 100 BOOKS LIST? BBC! GO HOME! YOU’RE DRUNK!!


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100 Books by 40 – MAGICIAN

Book: Magician
Author: Raymond E. Feist
Published: 1983

Lord of the Rings. If you haven’t read that, please do so before reading this book. “Everything you can do, I can do better”, says Tolkien.

The future of a land peacefully inhabited by elves, dwarfs, humans, magicians, and trolls is threatened when aliens discover how to open a rift into their world. There are epic journeys and blood soaked battles. Political shenanigans abound.

If you’ve read LOTR, and you would have liked a dash of sci-fi thrown into the story, this book is for you. This isn’t a bad book. It’s just that the relationships between humans, elves, and dwarfs are considerably more enthralling as Tolkien tells it.


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100 Books by 40: KANE AND ABEL

Book: Kane and Abel
Author: Jeffrey Archer
Published: 1979

Passing 10 hours of time can be done in many more pleasant ways than reading this book, like reading most of the other books further up in this list. Putting Jack Kerouac close to this title makes me seriously doubt The BBC’s understanding of American Literature. Let’s hope the end of this list was put together by a summer intern. And really, this conjecture seems reasonable considering The Princess Diaries is next on my reading list.

The book follows the lives of two successful men, Kane and Abel, naturally. One man is born into luxury, the other poverty. Due to an unfortunate turn of events, the characters feud for most of their lives.

The feud would have been considerably more interesting if Kane had dimensions rather than a dimension. William Kane always makes the right decisions. He is a successful banker. When Kane is shot in the face in WWII, all the scars heal, and he escapes permanent disfigurement. Of course he does. His wife is as beautiful at fifty-four as she was at twenty. Of course she is. Their children and beautiful and geniuses. Of course they are. See how tiresome this is? Now consider one thousand pages of it.

Partially due to the one dimension of William Kane, the foreshadowing could have only been more ham-fisted if the author provided a book summary at the end of every chapter. The plot was as predictable as the plot of an American rom-com. To round out this list of shame, the Biblical reference to Cain and Able fails to apply in significant ways.

Abel is developed further, but only slightly. The standard hard-working, successful immigrant story is trotted out. He occasionally makes poor choices, which make him slightly more interesting. Good stories never start off with, “I drank a nice herbal tea and went to bed early.”

Here’s the thing. Mark Twain didn’t try to write novels about Brits… set in England… a place he did not live. Jeffrey Archer is British. He’s lived in England his entire life. Here’s a theory. Perhaps the characters fall flat because these American archetypes are so tired to me. The archetypes succeed with foreigners because they reinforce their misconceptions of opportunity in America.

Are you an American? DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. If you want a easy summer read about immigrants, for god’s sake, pick-up The Godfather instead.


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100 Books by 40 – THE ALCHEMIST

Book: The Alchemist
Author: Paulo Coelho
Published: 1988

It’s not what you thought
When you first began it
You got what you want
Now you can hardly stand it, though
By now you know
It’s not going to stop
It’s not going to stop
It’s not going to stop
Till you wise up

You’re sure there’s a cure
And you have finally found it
You think one drink
Will shrink you till you’re underground
And living down
But it’s not going to stop
It’s not going to stop
It’s not going to stop
Till you wise up

Prepare a list for what you need
Before you sign away the deed
‘Cause it’s not going to stop
It’s not going to stop
It’s not going to stop
Till you wise up

No, it’s not going to stop
Till you wise up
No, it’s not going to stop
So just give up

– Aimee Mann “Wise Up”

Stories serve different purposes. Some stories represent reality in no way, but they paint the world in an ordered and intentional way that sooths us in times of suffering. It’s psychologically critical to believe that life has meaning when we hurt. Facing how arbitrary life is only makes that pill more bitter to swallow.

The Alchemist describes the adventures of a boy seeking his true destiny by being present in nature and with people. The boy travels and learns from those he meets along the way that the universe is ordered and is God manifested. His heart never steers him wrong. He gets riches and the woman he loves. And it’s all so precious. So very precious.

And that’s lovely, but there’s a reason books and movies like this exist. This sort of happily ever after ending only happens in fiction. In real life, the boy would have died in the desert. In real life, his love wouldn’t have waited endlessly for him to return. In real life, treasure isn’t buried, and the universe isn’t directing us to it. In real life, stunningly shitty things happen. In real life, those stunningly shitty things are meaningless, arbitrary.

If meaning can be taken from suffering, it’s because the sufferer has willed it to be so. A 102 year-old WWII survivor was awarded her PhD last week. She’s chosen to live past her suffering by sheer will and determination, and not because the universe is whispering to her heart about bullshit treasure.

And this, fundamentally, is what our culture gets wrong about success. Nothing is free. People who perservere in the face of terrible circumstances have nothing special aside from will. They manage to pull themselves out of bed in the morning in spite of their body screaming to stay.

Objectively, Ingeborg had her life forever altered by the year and place she was born in. If just one of those variables were different, she would have achieved her PhD years ago. She wouldn’t have fleed human cruelty. The fact that she is still chosing life, is an act of will and suggesting a benevolent universe is guiding her along robs her of her strength.


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100 Books by 40: GOD OF SMALL THINGS

Book: God of Small Things
Author: Arundhati Roy
Published: 1997

Everyone has a story. Some stories dig into tender places. They curl around vital organs, touching where the pain ancient, dull lies deepest.

A woman revisits her childhood home in India and reconnects with her twin brother. Their story sneaks in, quiet on the back of lush prose and resonant consiousness. Family catastrophes that spring from the best intentions carry a sorrow all their own. The loss that carves space into the main characters  is revealed early, leaving the rest of the book to elaborate on good intentions. I devoured it eagerly.

Soaking in the book’s warm dispair was a salve on my own fresh wounds. Good intentions abound in my story. Chairs upright and tray tables stowed have got nothing for the hard landing, but the ritual’s purpose is to comfort not protect. That’s a story for another day.


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100 Books by 40: THE COLOR OF MAGIC

Book: The Color of Magic
Author: Terry Pratchett
Published:

Terry Pratchett took me on a romp through space and time. I flew on dragons. I contemplated the implications of a multidimensional universe. I was confronted with the enormity of our world and how this vastness is at once terrifying and comforting. He sharpened the truth that all control is an illusion. Fear and anxiety fall impotent, useless at its steely feet.

My plate is filled with high risk and high impact decisions that spring from big disappointment. And now more than ever, I needed constant whispering in my ear… “The present is always enough.” “Control is an illusion; worry serves no purpose other than to spin a web of suffering.”

Thank you, Terry Pratchett, for your words. Thank you for sharing your playful yet profound mind. Thank you for bringing me comfort at a time when it was scarce.


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100 Books by 40: COLD COMFORT FARM

Book: Cold Comfort Farm
Author: Stella Gibbons
Published: 1932

This is an ode to references. Stella Gibbons is poking fun at books that were popular at the time. Novels that idealized English rural life were common with quirky characters and regional dialects galore.

I purchased this as an audiobook because I was headed out of town for the weekend and wanted something to listen to in the car. Due to my lack of planning, I didn’t have time to get the audiobook from the library. I failed to grasp the implications of purchasing a “dramatized” reading. Dramatic, it is.

This dramatized reading is complete with different voice actors for each character as well as sound effects. I could live without the sound effects. I do, however enjoy the different voice actors.

This book is a little tough for me to get into. In order to fully appreciate parody, I would need to be more familiar with what is being lampooned. Imagine watching Spaceballs without seeing Star Wars. Sure, it’s still funny, but many of the jokes would fall flat. That’s my experience with this book.

I’ve read a couple of the authors that Gibbons is parodying. Via this list, I’ve read the Bronte sisters and Thomas Hardy. But I sense that my familiarity would need to be more significant than one read through can give me.

Regardless, I enjoyed the book. I’m sure many jokes sailed over my head. And I suspect some of the absurd aspects of the plot were more obvious due to the voice actors interpretation. But, if you haven’t read any of the authors that this book lampoons, I suggest you skip it.

Reading now:
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett

Finished reading:
1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen – only 99 cents for Kindle edition
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens – have on Kindle
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy – have on Kindle
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens *I read this when I was too young to appreciate it; I would like to read it again as an adult. I will do so if I have time.
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding *I’ve read this twice. I will read it again if I have time.
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac *I’ve read this twice. I will read it again if I have time. I have the unabriged unedited version and will probably take on that if time allows.
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel

Pending reading:
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie